Posts Tagged ‘Southern Region’

Yesterday. Saturday 17th July saw the annual 35006 Locomotive Preservation Society members and shareholders day, that took place  after public 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N.Co. had been in service hauling public services on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway.

35006 basks in the sunshine on display in the car park

35006 attracts other forms of transport

35006 shunts across to the stock for the evening run

Dan and Aaron our young crew for the evening

Running round at the wonderful recreated Broadway station

With over 160 members, shareholders and invited guests (that included some of the team working on fellow Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation that us currently being restored uniquely to original air smoothed condition complete with Bulleid’s chain driven valve gear) board, many enjoying picnics, we had the entire wonderfully scenic Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway to ourselves. 35006 hauled a complete round trip from Toddington – Cheltenham Racecourse – Broadway – Toddington, with its splendid views of the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills, in the warm evening sunshine.

Before the evening run 35006 was nicely positioned, in the hot sunshine, on display in the car park (the line usually used for the loading on and off low loaders) to allow members and shareholders alike up close and all round access to the locomotive before the evening run.
After last years event was cancelled due to Covid-19 it was great to see 35006 up close again and putting in such a fine performance ably driven and fired by the young crew of Dan driving (he was firing on the last members and shareholders day in 2019, so great to see him progressing up the ranks) and Aaron on the shovel. With the run finishing back at Toddington at 9.30 in the evening, and their work to dispose 35006 safely back on shed still to do, their time and dedication is much appreciated by all.
All in all a great day catching up with many friends, the loco herself, the footplate crew and the great team behind the 35006 Locomotive Company Ltd. at their AGM earlier in the day.  For more details on how to join and get involved with 35006 click here. 

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The attractive Wainwright D class 4-4-0 from Retailer Rails Of Sheffield  in partnership with Dapol and Locomotion Models that was announced in October 2019 has now arrived.  Hopeful the images within this post will show how well the model looks and perpetuates the elegance.

The elegance of the D Class is clearly captured

The right hand side of 1734 with the high level of details clear to see

A total of 51 of these elegant D Class 4-4-0s were built in a number batches between 1901 and 1907 and were built by a range of manufacturers. The first 20 being split between Sharp Stewart and Ashford, the next ten by Dubs & Co, followed by ten split between Stephenson & Co and the Vulcan Foundry, the final eleven being once again built at Ashford. Initial duties included the main express services on all the SECR primary routes. Following grouping and the introduction of newer classes such as the N15s they were transferred to secondary services such as Brighton, Redhill, and Basingstoke stopper services.
The main withdrawal commenced in the early 1950s with the last six being based ay Guildford shed working Redhill – Reading services until 1956. Number 737 was saved for preservation as part of the National Collection and cosmetically restored to SECR livery and condition.
During the 1920s Maunsell rebuilt 21 as the D1 class with a larger Belpaire firebox, superheating, new  piston valves a Maunsell style cab. Whilst improving efficiency and performance the rebuilds certainly lost much of the elegance.

Six versions were originally available via Rails of Sheffield

  • 4S-027-001 Wainwright D Class SECR Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.488 [Now Sold out]
  • 4S-027-002 Wainwright D Class Southern Lined Maunsell Olive Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1730 (early style lining)
  • 4S-027-003 Wainwright D Class BR Sunshine Black 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31731
  • 4S-027-004 Wainwright D Class BR Lined Black Early Crest 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31574 [Now Sold out]
  • 4S-027-005 Wainwright D Class SECR Grey (Scraped Beading) 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.726
  • 4S-027-006 Wainwright D Class Southern Sunshine 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1734

A model of No.737 as preserved at the Railway Museum is available via Locomotion Models.

A rear 3/4 view of 1734

The well detailed and decorated cab and the push fit drawbar.

The very nice representation of the motion between the frames under the boiler

The front face of the D Class showing the randomly silver smokebox door hinge and coupling hook

A close up of the right hand side of 1734

The dimensionally accurate model certainly captures the Wainwright elegance wonderfully well with an excellent detail. It features a five pole motor driving the front driving axle and a the now standard Dapol ‘pinless’ click to couple drawbar that also carries the electrical connections. Electrical pick up is on all tender wheels as well as the locomotive driving wheels. For those using DCC the model has Next-18 Decoder socket mounted on a pull out PCB behind the smokebox door with space for a 15mm x 11mm cube speaker, plus provision for customer to fit a larger bass speaker in tender. The loco also features the current gimmick of a firebox flicker although on DC you would hardly know its there .
The level of detail is wonderful including a good representation of the inside valve gear between the frames, well modelled and decorated cab details even down to the padlocks on the tender tool lockers. Separately applied items include lamp irons, pipe work, handrails and factory fitted brake rodding on both loco and tender. The buffers (once you have fitted the tender buffer back on that often appears to be loose in purchasers boxes) are sprung. The the slightly plasticly coal, is not so much removable as needs something to stop it falling off the model, and the water tank and limited coal space on these engines is modelled underneath it.
An accessory bag supplied with the model includes: cab doors, front guard irons and steam pipes and pipework (incorrectly names as vacuum pipes in the supplied owners manual), along with a ‘tool’ for pulling out the DCC PCB in the smokebox for what Dapol call their ‘Tool-less’ system (begs the question when is a tool not a tool?).
The tooling appears to allow for at least two chimneys. When first introduced they were fitted with tall copper capped chimneys. Circa the1910s they fitted with a shorter larger diameter capuchon chimney, that were then  gradually replaced with a plain topped version after Grouping, although 1493 kept the capuchon chimney until withdrawal. With this model in the wartime SR Sunshine black livery it is unlikely to have still been fitted with a capuchon chimney (unless I can find a dated picture).  The BR Lined black version also has the same incorrect chimney.

The replacement wheelset, tool and spare traction tyres

When announced the Engineering Prototype shown included a diecast boiler and smokebox, model  4-4-0s are notoriously difficult to balance, the boiler and smokebox on the production models first appeared to be plastic, with the loco minus tender only weighing 155g, and traction tyres fitted on the front driving wheels. Having now taken the model apart it does seem to still be die cast. The change to fit traction tyres only came to light publicly when the models started to be delivered, so is no different than a Hornby T9 in that respect.
Possibly if a more traditional DDC approach with the socket etc. hidden inside the tender, rather than the smokebox and some of the boiler, more space might have been available for more weight. As a compromise, and to be fair a nice touch, the model has been supplied with a non traction tyre fitted drop in wheelset (along with a tool for undoing the crank pin screws.
It has also been noted that on my model the front traction tyre fitted wheelset has blackened rims whilst the rear drivers are not blackened. This is possibly as a result of the late change to fit traction tyres as the spare wheelset supplied matches the rear driving wheels i.e. no blackened rim. Also supplied are spare traction tyres. The model runs smoothly and quietly on the limited space on Canute Road Quay although I have not been able to test its haulage capacity.
A number of the models have also demonstrated a notable difference in height between the tender and loco running plates. My example is not as noticeable as some. It appears to depend on the fit of the loco body at the rear of the chassis, I am led to believe that all the models have has some form of work carried out on them in the UK to ensure the loco to tender drawbar connects correctly and the rear chassis screw tightness is part of the fix.

A side on view of 1734 the overscale lettering and numbers are clear to see

The other elephant in the room is the decoration: on my model pictured the Sunshine lettering and number style character height is 3.71mm when they should be a scale 9″ high i.e. 3mm and also the green shading is over weight further emphasising the oversize and immediately detracts to my eye, and I will have to replace them at some stage, some of the metal work has been picked out in bright silver paint, including the coupling hook and randomly part of the smokebox door hinge and will need toning down.
From photos I have seen the SR olive green version, as well as the odd shade of green, has an issue in some areas with registration of the lining and also the number font on the tender not a correct representation of the SR number font, the ‘3’ should be completely curved version and is to heavy weight The RH side tender emblem on BR lined version faces the wrong and also suffers from the number font being too heavy and therefore the over width of the numbers is too wide.

So my D Class will need to get in to the workbench queue to have the chimney corrected and the lettering and numbers replaced along with the toning down of some of the random silver paintwork and generally weathered.

Overall, despite the livery niggles and the slightly disappointing overall weight and the need for traction tyres the Rails Of Sheffield  in partnership with Dapol Wainwright D Class 4-4-0 is a lovely model with some great detail and a welcome addition for pre-grouping / SR modellers especially those modelling the Eastern Section and will be a good stable mate for the Bachmann C class, Hattons P Class and the Hornby H class.

 

 

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Rapido Trains UK have announced their first 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons.  These new models cover the Diagram 1355 seven-plank open and both the Diagram 1347 and Diagram 1349 five-plank opens built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway on the same Maunsell/Lyons steel underframe.

One of the three surviving Dia. 1355 wagons at the Bluebell Railway.

The SECR Maunsell / Lyons 7 and 5 plank open wagons

The EP of the Dia 1355 7 plank open

The EP of the Dia. 1355

The underframe detail on the common chassis

The 7 plank open, later SR Diagram 1355, were the SECR’s most numerous wagon with 2,121 wagons built between 1915 and 1927. The SR later fitted a sheet rail. British Railways had over 70 wagons still in service  in the 1960s and the last withdrawals were not until the 1970s. Several were sold into private usage, including the Port of Bristol Authority. Three of these wagons are preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

The SR Pre-1936 livery artwork (subject to amendment to include brown solebars and headstocks)

SECR livery artwork

The 5 plank opens utilised the same steel chassis as the 7 plank wagons, 550 were built between 1920 and 1925 with standard buffers that became SR Diagram 1347. A further 150 were built 1921/2  with self contained buffers and became SR Diagram 1349. There were withdrawn in the early 1960s. Two D1347 wagons are preserved, with one at the Bluebell Railway and the other at the Severn Valley Railway.

The model tooling allows for variations to be produced including the 7 plank open with or without sheet rails and the two different buffer styles on the 5 plank versions. They will include high levels of body and underframe detail, metal stamped parts, metal bearing cups and NEM coupler pockets.

The initial versions being produced are as follows:

Diagram 1355 7 plank open 

  • 907001: No.12221, SECR Grey
  • 907002: No.16194, SECR Grey
  • 907003: No.14997, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 907004: No.16227, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 907005: No.28666, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 907006: No.28860, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 907007: No.S16510, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 907008: No.S28951, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 907009: No.S28662, BR Grey
  • 9070010: No.S28942, BR Grey
  • 9070011: No.DS28635, BR Gulf Red (S&T Dept)

The full set of D1355 livery artworks can be seen here.

The Dia. 1347 EP

The Dia. 1347 EP

The Dia. 1347 EP

SR Post 1936 livery artwork (subject to amendment to include brown solebars and headstocks)

BR Grey livery artwork

Diagram 1347 5 plank open

  • 906001: No.9601, SECR Grey
  • 906002: No.12522, SECR Grey
  • 906003: No.14131, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906004: No.14632, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906005: No.14283, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906006: No.19081, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906007: No.S14271, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 906008: No.S19220, BR Grey
  • 906009: No.S19228, BR Grey
  • 906010: No.DS14157, Engineers Black

Diagram 1349 5 plank open

  • 906011: No.10789, SECR Grey
  • 906012: No.10660, SECR Grey
  • 906013: No.14621, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906014: No.14707, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906015: No.14599, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906016: No.14678, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906017: No.S14590, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 906018: No.S14571, BR Grey
  • 906019: No.S14708, BR Grey

The full set of D1347 / D1349 livery artworks can be seen here.

My friends, Andy and Richard at Rapido Trains UK advised: “that it their long-term aspiration to undertake some manufacturing in UK. Having a UK design team is the first step towards that. These wagons have been researched and designed 100% in the UK. All we’ve done is to send the completed CADs to our factory in China for manufacturing. We have a number of wagon projects that our UK designers are working on and we’ll announce these shortly. As the business grows and our range increases in size, we’re hopeful that more and more rolling stock projects will be designed in this country.”

Both the five and seven-plank wagons are available to order now (RRP £32.95 each) and the order book closes on September 1st 2021. They can be pre-ordered from Kernow Model Rail Centre here.

These wagons will certainly be an great addition to the fleet for both pre-grouping, Southern Railway and Southern Region modellers alike.

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All ten versions of the much-anticipated Kernow Model Rail Centre 00 ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Vans have now been manufactured, are on route to the UK and due for the dispatch of pre-orders at the beginning of July.

All ten production versions are shown here together.

First introduced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1884 they were later classed as Southern Railway Diagram 1541.  Almost 500 of these were built between then and 1905 making them the most numerous LSWR Goods Brake Van.  Brake Vans with side doors through which parcels or other goods could be loaded were known as road vans.

Included within the ten versions are different liveries from the original LSWR, both Southern Railway variations, early British Railways, departmental through to as preserved examples. The tooling has also catered for the Mainland and Isle of Wight versions with either straight or cranked step board supports (as fitted on the IoW versions) and round or ribbed shanked buffers.

The models are £34.99 each, as the models have now left China the pre-order discounted price of £29.99 with full payment made at the time of order will finish on Sunday night. Details of the ten versions being produced can be found on the KMRC dedicated webpage here.

The models will arrive in in the UK at Southampton, that was appropriately the main docks for the London and South Western Railway, at the end of June. KMRC have included in the range van number 56046 as preserved on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. that we originally laser scanned, and number S54663 that was the last road van in service based at Wadebridge, although officially withdrawn in July 1958, it survived in some form of service until 1961. It was then purchased by the Bluebell Railway as their first item of goods rolling stock in May 1962.

 

 

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Announced as part of the Hornby 2021 range, the Gangwayed Bogie Luggage vans have now arrived at retailers. An old version of these vans with a Triang heritage has been in and out of the Hornby catalogue for some time and were very much something of a comprise (and it is not even worth comparing it with these new models). These newly released models are totally new tooling from the ground up and are a very welcome addition to the range.

The line up of Hornby GBL versions Copyright & Courtesy Kernow Model Rail Centre

In total 120 of these bogie luggage vans were built between 1930 and 1931 utilising ex LSWR underframes and bogies surplus from the bogie block set coach bodies having been converted to electric stock. They were built in three batches, two different body lengths and three different bogie centres, that resulted in three initial diagrams:

  • Diagram 3098, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2331-54 & 2482-90
  • Diagram 3099, 27 ton 53’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2355-70  2461-81
  • Diagram 3100, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 34’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2281-2330

The Southern coded all these vans as ‘GBL’ (Gangwayed Bogie Luggage) and later COR PMV (Corridor Parcels Miscellaneous Van) by British Railways. They we utilised mainly on Southampton Docks and other South Western Section trains and also the various overnight newspaper and mail trains.

30 of the GBLs were converted for use within casualty evacuation trains as stretcher vans. Most of these had received droplights in the centre pair of doors and when returned to the SR in 1945 these and a small number of other vans were allocated new diagram numbers as follows:

  • Diagram 3096 for the 17 ex Diagram 3098 51’3” GBLs
  • Diagram 3097 for the 16 ex Diagram 3099 53’3” GBLs

The Hornby R60021 2362 in SR Olive livery

A view of R600231A S2467S in BR Crimson Lake livery

Another view of 2362

The end view of 2362 showing the detail and exquisite lettering but showing the incorrect round buffers.

They were initially introduced in SR Olive Green livery, a very small number gained malachite. Under British Railways they were in crimson, with as few as six gaining BR(s) Green.

All were withdrawn during 1959 and 1960 with twelve lasting to 1961 for  pigeon traffic. A few entered departmental use and two have been preserved. Number S2464S was painted in Pullman car livery in July 1962 and stored in readiness to be used  as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

Hornby have initially released five versions of the 53’3” Diagram 3099 / 3097 vans

  • R60020 – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2362 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery (it should be noted that 2362 was one the vans that received centre door droplights and reclassified to Diagram 3097 in 1945, so is modelled by Hornby in its pre-war guise)
  • R60020A – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2471 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery
  • R60021 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2477S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60021A – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2467S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60057 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2464S to Diagram 3097 in Pullman livery as used as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

A side view of the end, the LSWR 8ft bogies and the underframe steel flitching plates are clearly seen.

These models capture the prototype extremely well and dimensionally accurately matches the the drawings that I have available. The heavy ex LSWR underframe is well represented, including the steel flitching plates and their retaining bolts at each end where the extension pieces for the original frames were fitted. The underframe also includes the battery boxes, dynamo and the brake vacuum cylinders, rods and V hangers, although the pull rods to the bogies are omitted.

The bogies are a well detailed recreation of the LSWR 8 foot bogies that were used on these vehicles. They are fitted with steel disc wheels, it should be noted that prior to 1945/48 these vans ran on Mansell wooden cantered wheels.
The NEM coupling pockets are mounted on close coupling cams. However, the tension lock coupling fitted already extends beyond the buffers by approximately 4mm and although the cam allows the coupling to pivot in a arc and is sprung it is hardly driven by any bogie movement except at the very extremes of bogie swing. Even on the short radius turnouts and tight curves of Canute Road Quay the coupling and cam hardly moved, so I will be fitting a shorter tensions lock coupling in mine.

A close up of the middle section of the van.

The models contain a wealth of detail and separately applied parts that includes: wire handrails, flush glazing with the protective mesh behind each window, all door handles, lamp irons, starboards, delicate foot steps on each corner of the chassis, sprung metal buffers (although they are round rather than the correct clipped top and bottom oval), brake handrail and pipework.
The roof mounted torpedo vents are also be separate parts and sit well alongside the moulded rain strips and the roof board mounting brackets.

A side on view of S2467S with the chalk boards in place overlapping the first and second planks under the outer of the pair of middle windows.

Supplied within an accessory pack are steam heat and vacuum pipes that can be fitted into the buffer beam at each end if you are not using the tension lock coupling. Also supplied are the oval chalk boards that should be located under the outer window of the pair either side of the centre doors.  These would have been fitted to the vans from new, however at least one of the preserved vans and also S2464S  as the hearse van does not have them fitted. This is I assume is why Hornby have not included these as part of the body moulding or factory fitted them.

Livery application is to the standard that you would expect from Hornby with the shaded numbers and letting on the SR version clearly well reproduced and includes the extremely small by legible “Distributed Load 10 Tons”, the end lettering and data panel, sole bar cast number plate (although the plate on the crimson version still shows the ‘R’ of ‘SR’ whereas under BR only the ‘S’ would have been picked out in white) and brake wheel notations.

These GBLs give Southern modelers another excellent luggage van to work alongside the Bogie Van B and 4 wheeled Van C previously from Hornby (or Ratio and Parkside kits) and the 4 wheeled PLV and Van U from Bachmann (or Parkside kits). 

 

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A brand new quarterly ‘bookazine’ from Warners called ‘Smoke & Steam’ is published on 30th April.  It features some of the most famous – and not so famous – routes, featuring locomotive legends. With in-depth articles, including a few Southern related, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.

The contents include:

  • Following the Flagman – Dover’s seafront railway – Paul Isles
  • Forgotten Railways – The Peak District mainline – Graham Nicholas
  • Iconic stations: Exploring Salisbury – Graham Muspratt
  • Travelling in style: The Cornish Riviera Express – Adrian Vaughan
  • Mallard: A Pictorial Journey – Tony Wright
  • Semaphore Signalling – Why the GWR was different – Mike Romans
  • There’s only one Edinburgh Waverley – Ian Lamb
  • Restoring an SR Merchant Navy – Graham Muspratt
  • Goods locomotives of Buckingham – Tony Gee
  • Moving Into BR – the GWR becomes the Western Region  – Mike Romans
  • Modelling coal and how to weather a locomotive – Phil Parker

Available digitally or on high-quality paper, Smoke & Steam should make an ideal coffee table companion.

It will be on sale from 30th April – you can pre-order your copy here. Initially, this bookazine will only be available mail order, but once things start to return to normal in the news trade, it should be appearing in good newsagents.

Despite including my articles, having had the opportunity to review some of the excellent other contributors articles from which I have already learnt new things (everyday is a school day) I think it will be a cracking publication.

 

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First announced in October 2019 and following amendments to the first livery samples, examples of all seven versions of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway D Class 4-4-0 from the Dapol production line have been received by Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield. These have now completed extensive running trials and final checking. Following approval, shipping from the factory can now commence.

Six versions are available to Pre-order through Rails of Sheffield:

  • 4S-027-001 Wainwright D Class SECR Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.488 (Pre Grouping Silk Finish)
  • 4S-027-002 Wainwright D Class Southern Lined Maunsell Olive Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1730
  • 4S-027-003 Wainwright D Class BR Sunshine Black 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31731
  • 4S-027-004 Wainwright D Class BR Lined Black Early Crest 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31574
  • 4S-027-005 Wainwright D Class SECR Grey (Scraped Beading) 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.726
  • 4S-027-006 Wainwright D Class Southern Sunshine 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1734

The preserved example No. 737 is currently on display at the National Railway Museum, York. This locomotive has been produced exclusively for Locomotion Models, which is part of the National Railway Museum.

On the whole these look very good and I am looking to receiving my SR Sunshine version (although I will be renumbering as the numbers size shown above do appear to be slightly too large). Definite improvements have been made since the initial livery samples were shown, especially with the colour rendition of SR Olive and the toning down of the bright handrails on some versions (although strangely not the BR lined black version). The only other issue that has been noted is also with respect to the BR lined black version in that the cycling lion early emblem is facing backwards on the right hand side, at the time these emblems usually faced forwards on both sides as it does on at least one photo I have seen for 31574. As these are production samples it is likely to be too late to amend this.

 

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It was back in February 2015 when Hornby announced that they were to produce an original air smoothed Bulleid Merchant Pacific as part of their 2016 range, however they were then moved into the 2017 range. These first three R3434 21c1 ‘Channel Packet’, R3435 21c3 ‘Royal Mail’ and R3436 35028 ‘Clan line’ arrived in March 2017, see my review of 21c1 here.

Since then the high seas between China and the UK have been devoid of Hornby ‘Merchant Navys’ despite further versions being announced in the following years.

The right hand side view etched plates fitted

In 2018 R3632 35024  ‘East Asiatic Company’ in BR Blue was announced (the subject of this post as she has now arrived) followed in 2019 by three more versions: R3649 3502 ‘Ellerman Lines’ in BR Green, R3716 35022 ‘Holland America Line’ in BR Green and R3717 21c7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’  in SR Wartime Black. Included in the 2021 range is R386135017 ‘Belgian Marine’

Hornby advised in January 2020 that the delay was due to one of factories that they use being unexpectedly at very short notice closed, due to a compulsory purchase of the land by the Chinese government! This impacted the production of the new Merchant Navy pacifics, versions of the Peckett industrial tanks, the Class 800 Azuma units and the GWR 61xx large Prairie tanks locomotives. Work to move the tooling to another factory appeared to take longer than had been hoped, however the backlog is slowly being cleared and 35024 should hopefully now be the first of the overdue excellent Merchant Navys to arrive.

Rear RH 3/4 view, the lamp lens are yet to be toned down at the rear

35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ was the first Merchant Navy to appear in the Express Passenger Engine Blue for the newly formed British Railways. Whilst in Eastleigh works in March 1949 for Minor ‘D’ examination she was first painted in a dark blue (note: not recorded as being the experimental purple seen on some other non SR loco classes, including the wheels with three horizontal crimson bands and a hand painted early emblem on the tender. She however re-entered service in what was to become standard express passenger blue with two horizontal black bands with white lining, following inspection of the livery by members of the Railway Executive at Brighton Works.
The blue paint of the time wasn’t very practical in practice, due to the elements and the heat from the engine causing the paint to discolour and fade quite quickly hence the change to BR Green for all Passenger Locos only a couple years later.

Hornby have released 35025 in the condition in which she first ran for a while in this livery from Exmouth Junction, as she does not carry the later BR shedplate (72A) it would have been fitted sometime before May 1949 when she was also fitted with the battens on the smoke deflectors to carry the ‘Devon Belle’ wing plates.

The left hand side view, although I’ve painted out the silver lamp lenses I might make the lens itself gloss.

I wont repeat my full review of 21c1, as that can be read here, and all the positives are also on this model such as: the powerful 5 pole motor with large flywheel, all wheel pick up, the excellent coupling rods, the loco and tender brake rodding being factory fitted. Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes.
As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky.
The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.

Rear LH 3/4 view

The paint finish, whilst a slightly different hue to the printed box not that it maters, I think captures the drabness of the BR Passenger Blue well.
If the carpet crawler YouTube reviewer is to be believed this should along with the flat casing top be a stain finish just because another manufacturer has done so on a totally unrelated model, he also claims the nameplates are etched but printed, and that the brass cab side window frames are wood (to be fair they are wooden on the Light Pacifics). For the record whilst the blue could perhaps be only slightly more satin for an ex works condition, the casing tops should be matt black.

The excellently detailed cab interior, even down the the gauge dials, has been supplemented by some crew by Masterpiece Figures.

I only have two niggles are firstly the nameplates, whilst separately applied plastic parts are printed with none of the casting relief and I have already replaced these with etched plates from Fox Transfers.
Secondly the characteristic electric lamps that in reality are hung from the underside of the swan neck style lamp iron and also had electric conduit attached. However, on the model the lamp is attached via a perpendicular lug on their back into holes on the sloping front casing them to point upwards slightly and the very fragile plastic lamp irons to lean backwards.
I have replaced these three lamp irons with etched brass versions so they are stronger and correctly face forwards, this in itself helps trick the eye away from the lamp angle. The lamps are correctly black (the lamp casing were black painted brass on the front and body livery colour painted steal casings on the tender). Each lamp has a silver blob to represent the lens, however in reality these lens appear black unless the lamp is actually lit. I have touched away the sliver and again it helps disguise the incorrect angle of the lamps.

For anyone wanting to renumber and rename to one of other the third series Merchant Navys in blue (for details of the differences between the third series read my first ever Talking Stock post here) then the candidates to choose from are 35021/2 and 35025 to 35030, as 35025 is one of the three members of the class along with 35014 and 35011 (currently being restored back to original condition) not to gain the Blue livery.

Little niggles aside, I stand by my earlier review these models have raised the bar, capturing splendidly the front face and overall look and details that Bulleid intended. Along with the excellent smooth running powerful drive system and chassis we can look forward happily to adding other versions to the fleet when then arrive, with hopefully more versions from the tooling suit that Hornby have produced to cover most of the potential variations.

 

 

 

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It is fifty eight years to the day when Dr Richard Beeching’s report “The Reshaping of British Railways” was officially published on the 27th March 1963. This is a sneaky repeat post from eight years ago on the fiftieth anniversary, buts its still spoken about, with many opinions to this to this day, and currently in connection with the proposed reopening of some lines (including Exeter to Okehampton), so my thoughts below are still relevant.
Beeching was at the time Chairman of the British Railways Board. The report identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure, 55% of stations and 30% of route miles, with an objective of stemming the large losses being incurred during a period of increasing competition from road transport (that also had the support from the then Minister of Transport Ernest Marples whom it appears had connections to the road construction industry and had also appointed Dr Beeching in the first place).

The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963

The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963

Many of the ex Southern Lines especially in the South West of England, already coined the ‘Withered Arm’ were closed as a result of the report.  A few protests resulted in the saving of some stations and lines, but the majority were closed as planned and Beeching’s name is to this day associated with the mass closure or ‘axe’ of railways and the loss of many local services in the period that followed.

One such line that was included in the report for closure was the Tamar Valley line, however due to the poor road links in the area some of the line was reprieved and survives to this day between Plymouth, Bere Alston and Gunnislake. In fact there is currently a growing movement and support for the line to be reopened north of Bere Alston back to the south end of Tavistock and even through to Okehampton to complete the Northern route to counter the issues sometimes experienced along the ex GWR coastal route via Dawlish.

In addition to the main report there were a number of maps included within Part 2 of the report  that diagrammatically showed data such as : Density of passenger traffic, Distribution of passenger receipts, Density of Freight Traffic, etc. and of course the main outcome of the report the map of Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services. I have reproduced part of a couple of these maps in this post showing the Southern Region area.

Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts

Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts (click for larger version)

Map9

Map 9 of the report shows the Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services (click for larger version)

Map 9 Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services shows the almost total eradication of the ex Southern Railway lines in the South West as already mentioned above, and a number of other lines in the South of England identified for closure. Happily some of these lines have now since reopened as preserved railways such as the Alton to Winchester line that between Alton and Alresford now forms the Mid Hants Watercress line.

Although the Unions at the time released their own version of the report titled “The Mis-shaping of British Railways” a number of facts (although in some cases the basis of collection of some of these facts have been questioned) within the report appear compelling and it is perhaps not surprising that the conclusions reached were so wide ranging.
The report with respect to freight on the railways proposed the move to quicker, higher capacity trains, serving the main routes, transporting greater loads to hubs. Not with the then traditional wagons but trains loaded with containers. Does that seem familiar today?
Whilst Beeching is a much maligned name  for the passenger line closure section of the  report it is easy perhaps forget that this report dramatically modernised freight on the rail network promoting containerisation and long-distance freight haulage.

Who knows if the current growth and success of the railway network as it stands today would have been possible if some of the harsh decisions as a result of “The Reshaping of British Railways” were not taken…

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I am pleased to advise that Canute Road Quay makes an appearance in the April 2021 issue of BRM Magazine available now for digital subscribers and next Thursday 25th March for the printed version.

I open the article by discussing; how although I usually model the 1946 to 1949 Southern Railway time period but to allow for additional interest and how I have purposely built Canute Road Quay without having any fixed item that dates the period modelled or really identifies the area modelled.
This allows a wider range of rolling stock to be used giving a range of different locomotive traction, classes and livery choices that would be still be applicable to such a quayside location. I then continue to describe the layout itself.

The article, similar to some of my “Making Quay Changes” posts,  covers time periods from the mid 1920s through to the 1960s starting with Southampton Docks liveried Adams B4 0-4-0t  through to the USA 0-6-0 Tanks, industrial locomotives and the Class 07 diesels.

Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of BRM Magazine it joins two other ‘compact’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.

Due to the current Covid restrictions rather than being able to enjoy the company and a new pair of eyes photographing layout, I provided all the photographs myself to go alongside my text.
I have used my Canon G7x camera along with my set of studio lights and spent some time one weekend in January utilising the camaras ability to automatically take a series of ‘Focus Bracketed’ images, i.e. multiple shots from the same position but with slightly different focus point, and then combining them in post processing into one image to give an increased depth of field. Hopefully you will enjoy the article and the accompanying photographs.

As a surprise bonus the April edition of BRM TV that is available for digital subscribers of the BRM magazine this month has Fisherton Sarum as its main layout feature (remind me to teach Howard how to pronounce Sarum..).
It includes video footage, that to be honest I had forgotten had been recorded, from the appearance of Fisherton Sarum at the Doncaster Festival of British Railway Modelling way back in 2012 and also includes another look at some of the images that accompanied the article about the layout in the February 2021 issue of BRM Magazine.

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